A Great Yarmouth charity is celebrating after receiving nearly £400,000 of funding for its work supporting women in the area. 

Feathers Futures, based on Hall Quay, will use the money to secure the job roles of three staff who currently deliver courses, support and activities to more than 450 women each year. 

The charity was created in 2018 and is staffed by a team of five and 30 volunteers. 

Jo Critch founded the organisation after local women struggled to access the right support or didn’t meet specific criteria to get the help they needed. 

The charity now runs many groups every week, including a free toiletries bank, exercise groups, cooking classes, domestic abuse recovery courses, confidence and self-care courses, arts and crafts, individual counselling sessions, and outreach sessions.   

Great Yarmouth Mercury: Jo Critch, founder of Feathers Futures, on the right, with Sheree Hodgson, project coordinator, pictured in 2021.Jo Critch, founder of Feathers Futures, on the right, with Sheree Hodgson, project coordinator, pictured in 2021. (Image: National Lottery Community Fund)

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Ms Critch said: “We’re delighted that The National Lottery Community Fund has recognised our work in this way.  

“Now, thanks to National Lottery players, we will be able to shift our focus onto the longer-term sustainability of the organisation, knowing that the key staff posts are secured for five years. 

“This is important because funding for charities is becoming increasingly challenging and often short-term, yet demand for charities like ours is increasing, meaning the added pressure of uncertainty for the charity and its staff.  

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“We know how much we are needed and valued in our community, and we want to ensure we are here for the women in Great Yarmouth for many years to come,” she added. 

The funding announcement for £394,976 was made on March 8 - International Women’s Day. 

The new funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, which distributes money raised by National Lottery players for good causes and is the largest community funder in the UK, will mean that Feathers Futures can build on its first five years in the community.